On behalf of the Federation, we are deeply sorry that the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) will not be participating in Congress 2021. We wish to apologize for not doing enough to give the BCSA confidence in our commitment to fight anti-Black racism. While we have been working to make many changes, we recognize there is much more we must do.
To restate the commitment of our Board and staff, we are working hard to make Congress more equitable, accessible, and inclusive, and to foreground conversations on anti-Black racism and decolonization.
Towards the goal of doing better, we will do the following:
First, Congress 2021 fees will be waived for students who self-identify as Black or Indigenous. In addition, community passes will be complimentary for members of the general public who self identify as Black or Indigenous. We will communicate the specific details as to how this will be administered in the next few days.
Second, without pre-empting the final report and recommendations of the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization, the Federation will work with future Congress institutional partners to prioritize Black and Indigenous experience and scholarship in Canada. We commit to a future face-to-face Congress theme centred on this, building on the advocacy of the BCSA and developed in consultation with Black scholars, First Nations, Inuit and Métis scholars and communities, and with scholarly associations.
We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all of you to create the space at Congress for those important conversations to take place. In the leadup to this, we are committed to and urge you to work with your home institutions to promote Black scholarship, and Black and Indigenous Studies.
We will also continue the work that is underway, including:
- A focus on anti-Black racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization for much of the Federation and University of Alberta programming at Congress 2021, including an outstanding Big Thinking lineup.
- Supporting participating associations in their continued commitment to inclusive programming and to building strong coalitions
- The deployment of our funding programs to support graduate students, international speakers and interdisciplinary research sessions.
- The opening of registrations for a $25 community pass giving access to over 100 hours of on-demand and live Congress activities. Again, this pass will be complimentary to Black and Indigenous registrants.
- Congress fees will continue to be discounted by 25% across all registration categories.
Thank you for your continued support as we remain committed to working with our entire community to make Congress truly inclusive.
Gabriel Miller, President and CEO
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences